“The nobleman said
To the bystanders.
‘Take the mina
Give it to the one
Who has the ten minas!’”
καὶ τοῖς παρεστῶσιν εἶπεν Ἄρατε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ τὴν μνᾶν καὶ δότε τῷ τὰς δέκα μνᾶς ἔχοντι.
Luke indicated that Jesus remarked that the nobleman said to the bystanders (καὶ τοῖς παρεστῶσιν εἶπεν) to take the mina from him (Ἄρατε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ τὴν μνᾶν) and give it to the one who had earned 10 minas (καὶ δότε τῷ τὰς δέκα μνᾶς ἔχοντι). This seems harsh, but in sync with the character of the nobleman. This was similar to Matthew, chapter 25:28, perhaps indicating a Q source. Jesus, via Matthew, said that this master or slave owner said to his people to take the one talent from this wicked lazy slave (ἄρατε οὖν ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ τὸ τάλαντον) and give it to the slave who already had 10 talents (καὶ δότε τῷ ἔχοντι τὰ δέκα τάλαντα). That did not seem fair, even though it was a mild punishment. This lazy slave ended up with nothing, but he really did not want anything. However, the ambitious industrious slave, who had increased his money, would get even more. Do you have enough money?
“Then another slave
Here is your mina!
I wrapped it up
In a piece of cloth.’”
καὶ ὁ ἕτερος ἦλθεν λέγων Κύριε, ἰδοὺ ἡ μνᾶ σου, ἣν εἶχον ἀποκειμένην ἐν σουδαρίῳ·
Luke indicated that Jesus said that another slave came in (καὶ ὁ ἕτερος ἦλθεν) and said to this lord, nobleman (λέγων Κύριε), that he had saved his mina (ἰδοὺ ἡ μνᾶ σου). He had wrapped it up in a piece of cloth, a handkerchief or a napkin (ἣν εἶχον ἀποκειμένην ἐν σουδαρίῳ). Instead of trading with this money, he simply wrapped it up to keep it safe. There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 25:25, perhaps indicating a Q source. Unlike the first 2 slaves, this third slave did something else with his one talent. Jesus said this slave who had received one talent came forward to his master (προσελθὼν δὲ καὶ ὁ τὸ ἓν τάλαντον εἰληφὼς). However, this slave said that he was afraid (καὶ φοβηθεὶς), so he went and hid his talent in the ground (ἀπελθὼν ἔκρυψα τὸ τάλαντόν σου ἐν τῇ γῇ). Then he seemed happy to return this one talent back to his master. He said “Look! here it is (ἴδε ἔχεις τὸ σόν)!” He was glad to be rid of this burden of protecting this money from possible thieves or robbers. Sometimes people are too cautious, as they fear that they will lose something, as here in this parable story. Are you too cautious with your money?
“But the one slave who had
Received the one talent
He dug a hole
In the ground.
His master’s money.”
ὁ δὲ τὸ ἓν λαβὼν ἀπελθὼν ὤρυξεν γῆν καὶ ἔκρυψεν τὸ ἀργύριον τοῦ κυρίου αὐτοῦ.
This parable is unique to Matthew, but there is something similar in Luke, chapter 19:12-27. Unlike the first 2 slaves, this 3rd slave did something else with his one talent. Jesus said that this slave who had received one talent (ὁ δὲ τὸ ἓν λαβὼν) went off and dug a hole in the ground (ἀπελθὼν ὤρυξεν γῆν). He hid his master’s or his lord’s money (καὶ ἔκρυψεν τὸ ἀργύριον τοῦ κυρίου αὐτοῦ).
“Philip saw that the Judas was gaining ground little by little. He saw that he was pushing ahead with more frequent successes. Thus he wrote to Ptolemy, the governor of Coele-syria and Phoenicia, to come to the aid of the king’s government. Ptolemy promptly appointed Nicanor son of Patroclus, one of the king’s chief friends. He sent Nicanor in command of no fewer than twenty thousand gentiles of all nations to wipe out the whole race of Judea. He associated with him Gorgias, a general and a man of experience in military service. Nicanor determined to make up for the king the tribute due to the Romans, two thousand talents, by selling the captured Jews into slavery. He immediately sent to the towns on the seacoast, inviting them to buy Jewish slaves. He promised to hand over ninety slaves for a talent, not expecting the judgment from the Almighty that was about to overtake him.”
This Philip was in charge of Jerusalem. He wrote to Ptolemy, who was the governor of Coele-syria, along the Phoenician coast, for aid. Ptolemy sent him Nicanor and Gorgias, a general. This is slightly different from 1 Maccabees, chapter 3. There it was Lysias, the governor from Antioch who sent Ptolemy with Nicanor and Gorgias to Judea with 40,000 troops, not 20,000 as here. There was no mention of taking Jewish slaves and selling them in 1 Maccabees. Here Nicanor believes that he can get 1 talent for 90 Jewish slaves, so that they can pay the Roman tribute. It is not clear if this is a gold or silver talent. Obviously, he was not expecting divine revenge.